My name is Christopher Hendrix and I thank God for my deliverance. By deliverance I don’t only mean from physical bondage, but also spiritual bondage.
In 2010 I was sentenced to 74 years in prison. I was never suppose to see the outside world as a free man again. But the devil is a liar. We serve a God that will meet you in your mess, and for me, he did just that. I had an encounter with Him through Oklahoma Jail & Prison Ministries.
While in the Oklahoma County Jail I went to the chaplain’s office where I got a chance to hear God speak through a person that took time to put someone else above themself. The broken, down trodden, depressed, alone; that was me. When God spoke through the chaplain I felt His love and I got saved and I mean for real saved in my heart, not my head or just my mouth. It was a big thing for me, because when I made that decision something changed in me that day.
Once I got to prison, I continued to serve the Lord in many different ways, and even became the pastor for the Wednesday and Sunday services. After about eight years I started feeling prompted to go to the law library and address things in my case. Problem was that I was not a lawyer, however I knew I knew one, Jesus. So, I began to research and write briefs, all the time, all the time physically touching the paper and praying “Lord you know I’m not a lawyer.”
After sending a brief in that I had prepared I continued to yet serve and follow God’s directions, not focusing on the brief, and one day I was talking to God and said “Lord if you never physically bring me out of this place, I’m gonna serve you regardless, no turning back, because I love you.
Within four months I received a letter from the court that said there was an error in my case and I was going back to court. Long story short, I am free today. Not because I’m so great, but whom the Son set free is free indeed. God Bless you.
I’m in jail for lewd acts. I was accused of rape. I am nervous having to face these charges alone with no one here with me to make an important decision about my life. A wrong decision could put me away for life. My first two months I had no one to call. I didn’t have my mom or dad. Then I saw the chaplain. The first time I came to the chaplain I learned about the gospel. The chaplain helped me draw closer to God. I could feel it in my bones with the warmth and then my tears started. I tried not to cry but before I felt alone and scared. I knew I was not going home. Now I am grateful that the chaplain helped me to see God’s love because I needed help seeing His love. I was alone so I thank God for sending the chaplain.
I wound up in this facility because I gave in to anger and I stabbed someone and hit them with a sledgehammer. I ran for a month but then I turned myself in. When I went to the chaplain for the first time I started to cry and I told the chaplain everything I did and what was going on. I was in a bad state of depression.
I was so sad and angry at myself that I wanted to kill myself. I went to the chaplain and found help. I got saved and I started to pray. They wanted to charge me as an adult. The Lord must have heard me and gave me a second chance to start new and change my ways. The Lord did bring me here for a reason and I started praying and change. I have been reading in the Bible and one verse really stands out to me, Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; Do not be afraid; nor be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” That is the verse I read when I am feeling bad. The Lord heard me and He gave me a second chance to be better and change my ways. He is also helping me change and become the man I am supposed to be. I couldn’t have done it without the chaplain. The chaplain pointed me in the right direction.
8 Myths of Estate Planning
No believer knows when Christ will call them home. Don’t let one of these common misconceptions stop you from protecting your family and supporting ministries like OJPM.
Myth 1: I don’t need an estate plan because… wait, what exactly is an estate plan?!
While this technically isn’t a myth, the nature of estate planning seems shrouded in mystery. This may be because it’s difficult to talk about what happens when we die. So, what is an estate plan? An estate plan is a set of essential legal documents that settle critical end-of-life decisions like asset distribution, children’s guardianship, healthcare decisions and charitable giving.
Myth 2: Only the wealthy or retired need an estate plan.
This is the single biggest misconception about estate planning. While it may sound like something for the “rich and famous,” everyone needs an estate plan, regardless of income, age or marital status. Even those with modest means (or significant debt) still have assets like their home, personal effects and other possessions that must be distributed. For young families, an estate plan answers questions about who will care for your children if both parents die.
Myth 3: My spouse or family will take care of this after I’m gone.
This is a tremendous burden to place on family members who are already grieving your loss. Without an estate plan, you are forcing them to guess your wishes and to rely on state law regarding the distribution of your assets. Families can be torn apart by disagreements over how a loved one’s assets should be divided. An estate plan resolves this by detailing your desires in advance.
Myth 4: I’m married but I don’t have children so I don’t need an estate plan.
Don’t assume your assets will easily transfer to your spouse. There are often complex legal hurdles that an estate plan can help avoid. Plus, without an estate plan more of your spouse’s assets may be lost to taxes, court costs or legal fees.
Myth 5: I don’t need an estate plan because I’m single.
Death doesn’t discriminate by marital status. Without an estate plan, state law will determine what happens to your assets when you pass — not you. An estate plan also includes vital information about your care should you become disabled or incapacitated. If you are incapacitated, what choices do you want made about your life? Don’t assume parents, siblings, or other relatives can make choices according to your wishes. Save them from the burden of guessing what you “would have wanted.”
Myth 6: It’s complicated and time consuming.
Not with help from the estate planning experts at The Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma. OJPM’s partnership with the Foundation provides access to a host of complimentary estate planning resources if you leave a qualifying gift to ministry.
Myth 7: I’ll get around to it eventually.
Sadly, we’ve heard this from far too many families whose loved one has unexpectedly passed away or become incapacitated without an estate plan in place. The Bible tells us life is short and that no believer knows when Christ will call them home. Please don’t put off your estate plan. The Foundation’s online Estate Planning Guidebook streamlines the process, allowing you to complete the majority of the work at your pace, from the comfort of your home — even in your PJs! You can access the guidebook for free at www.bfok.org/plan.
Myth 8: I already have an estate plan, so I’m set for life.
Life doesn’t stand still. Babies are born, teenagers become adults and sometimes a spouse or child leaves this earth before you do. Updating your estate plan every five to seven years is critical to wise stewardship of your estate.
CALL TO ACTION: Protect your family with an estate plan.
Oklahoma Jail and Prison Ministries’ partnership with The Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma provides access to a host of complimentary estate planning resources you can use to protect your family and support the work of OJPM. Learn more by contacting the Foundation’s estate planning experts at 800-949-9988 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting www.bfok.org/plan.
Oklahoma Jail and Prison Ministries (OJPM) volunteers receive some of the best training that is available in the market. The qualified volunteers not only come straight out of the communities in which we serve, but also adhere to all policies that are required by our office and uphold to a higher standard than what you would normally see in other ministries. They not only consider themselves ambassadors who represent our Sheriff’s office but also make themselves readily available to serve our staff if need be. Once the volunteer passes our background check and is approved through our office, he/she is trained by our qualified site chaplain provided by OJPM. This training also involves the federally required PREA provided by OJPM semi-annually in Oklahoma City.
OJPM has taken this part of the work-load upon themselves so that I can focus on the rest of the duties at hand. I appreciate the training and the accountability that all of the volunteers are required to participate in, as well as all of the Bibles and study materials that they furnish. Please consider visiting OJPM’s website at www.ojpm.org and/or contacting them at (405) 917-2242 to partner together with you.